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We will fuppofe this love-letter to have been written a few months before, in the April or May of that year, at' which time he was juft eighteen years old. Of the Queen, who had then fat on the throne above twenty-three years, it is not neceffary here to give any minute delineation. However the fplendour of her character may have been a little abated by the lapfe of time, the inquifition that has been made into the hiftory of that age, and the more definite notions of the prerogatives of the crown and the rights of the people now entertained and happily established, it is certain that her virtues gave her an unbounded afcendant over her fubjects; and though few of our princes have exercifed a more arbitrary dominion, the boundaries of our admirable conftitution not being then, as at prefent, nicely afcertained, the unquestionably was not in that age thought to infringe the liberties of the people. No ftronger proof of this can be produced than her great popularity. Every act of her reign appearing to fpring from a regard to the welfare and happiness of her fubjects, imperious as he was in many inftances, fhe was almost idolized by them. At once dignified and familiar, refpe&ted and beloved, she almost every year of her reign made a progrefs among them, and won their hearts by her affability and condefcenfion*. "There was no prince living, (fays a good obferver, who lived near the time) who was fo tender of honour, and fo exactly stood for the prefervation of fovereignty, that was fo great a courtier of her people, yea of her commons, and that tooped and defcended lower in prefenting her perfon to the public view, as the paffed ́ in her progreffes and perambulations, and in the ejaculation of her prayers for her peoplet. The deteftable doctrines

* In one of these progreffes the vifited Leycefter at Kenelworth Caftle, in 1576, when our youthful bard, among the crowds that flocked thichier from all the neighbourhood, might have feen her.

+ Naunton's Fragmenta Regalia, p. 12.


of French philofophy, and the imaginary right of man, had not yet been inculcated; nor had Englishmen yet been fedulously taught to throw away red fpect, tradition, form, and ceremonious duty," and to accept of French liberty, French equality, instead of that beauti fui and falutary gradation of ranks, which forms an eflential part of our k mirable conftitution; where the disting tion of conditions is fo eafy and imperceptible, that almoft every man under the first perfonages of the land places himself, in his own eftimation, without offence, in a fomewhat higher order than that to which he is ftrictly entitled ; and where men of the loweft origin may always by their own merit attain the highest honours and emoluments of the ftate.-A due fubordination then every where prevailed; which naturally produced a profound reverence for perfons diftinguifhed by their noble birth and the offices they held, from the worshipful juftice of the peace, to the grave counfellors and splendid courtiers who furrounded the throne. "It was (as.

has been truly obferved) an ingenuous uaiaquifitive time, when all the paflions and affections of the people were lapped up in fuch an innocent and humble obedience, that there was never the leaft conteftations nor capitulations with the Queen; nor, though the very frequent ly confulted with her fubjects, any further reafons urged of her actions than her own will‡.

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Add to this, the powerful operation produced in the minds of the people atthat time, by the alterations in religion, "As they had been lately made," (1 ufe the words of a learned writer yet

don in his youth) Reliq. Wotton. 1685, p. The Disparity (written by Lord Claren


Happily for us, no fuch reafon of action. daries between the prerogatives of the crown, ¦ can now be urged by our Kings, the boun and the privileges of the people, having fince the period here defcribed been nicely aftertained, fo as to leave the executive branch of our conftitution, no power but what is falu tary, and beneficial for the people. living)

Such was the period when our Stratford youth, whofe tender mind was probably impreffed with a fenfe of loyalty on each day of the week, employed in the acquifition of learning, and who was further confirmed in the fame fentiments by the doctrines enjoined to be taught on the day devoted to the func tions of religion, is made to express himfelf concerning the diadem of kings, in the ftyle which one of the regicides would have ufed in the following century, or one of the rulers of France would employ at this day.

living) as their importance was great, no account or pretence whatsoever was and as the benefits of the change had it lawful to infringe. been earned at the expence of much blood and labour; all thefe confiderations, begot a zeal for religion, which hardly ever appears under other circumftances. This zeal had an immediate and very fenfible effect on the morals of the reformed. It improved them in every inftance; efpecially as it produced a cheerful fubmiffion to the government, which had refcued them from their former flavery, and was ftill their ools fupport againit the returning dangers of fuperftition, Thus religion actg with all its power, and that too, heightened by gratitude and even felfintereft, bound obedience on the minds of men with the ftrongest ties*. And luckily for the Queen, this obedience was further fecuted to her, by the high uncontroverted notions of royalty, which at that time obtained among the peoplet.

To prevent thefe notions from fading from their minds, the Homilies, which were published by authority, and enjoined to be read every Sunday by the clergy in their respective churches, inculcated unconditional and paffive obedience‡ to the prince on the throne, which on

* « One of these (says this writer) was the prejudice of education; and fome uncommon methods were used to bind it faft on

the minds of the people.-A book called Eiphnapxia, five Elizabetha," was written in Latin verfe by one Ockland, containing the highest panegyricks on the Queen's character and government, and fetting forth the

tranfcendent virtues of her minifters. This book was enjoined by authority to be taught, as a claffic author, in grammar-schools, and was of courfe to be gotten by heart by the young fcholars throughout the kingdoin.This was a matchlefs contrivance to imprint a fenfe of loyalty on the minds of the people." Hurd, ubi fupr.

+ Moral and Political Dialogues, by the Rev. Mr Hurd, (now Lord Bishop of Worcefter) vol. ii. page 27.

The Homilies, it has been obferved, contain more precepts in fupport of this vile and flavish doctrine, than all the writings of

Filmer and his followers.

When Cromwell had no further use for the Rump Parliament, and kicked them, as they well deferved, out of doors, he defired one of his janizaries (as Whitelocke tells us) to take away that fool's bauble, the fpeaker's mace||. A bauble, in ancient time, had various fignifications. It originally meant a jewels, and afterward a temporary scaffold for any fcenic exhibition or pageant. It alfo fignified the truncheon which licensed fools used to carry in their hands. In a fecondary and derivative fenfe, deduced from the original barbarous term baubellum, (a jewel) in procefs of time the word in popular language came to fignify any flight toy, gewgaw, or trifling piece of finery; and in this fenfe it is employed by our poet himself in feveral of his plays: but I have fome doubt whether the word had obtained that fignification fo early as the middle of the reign of Elifabeth. Be that as it may, the fentiment before us may have been fuggested either by the following paffage in a letter of Crom

Hume, and fome other hiftorians, make him fay-" What 'fhall we do with this ba ble " Here, take it away by which the point of the allufion is loft.-The fool's bauble was a fhort truncheon with a carved head and afs' ears.

§ Roger Hoveden, as Minfhieu, and (after him) Dr Johnson, observe, has the word baubellum in this fenfe: "Omnia baubella fuɛ dedit Othoni," fol. 449. b.

Barrett's Alvearie, 1580, in v.


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well's to his fecretary Thurloe, rela-
tive to a petition pefented to his high-
nefs, by the wife of William Beacham,
mariner, which was printed about thir-
ty years ago—" I have not the parti-
cular thining bauble or feather in my
for crowds to gaze at, or kneel to,
but I have power and refolution for foes
to tremble at ;" or (which is ftill more
probable) by these fatirical verfes of

"A prince the moment he is crown'd,
Inherits every virtue round,

As emblems of the fovereign power,
Like other baubles of the Tower."

Cromwell, or fome of his flagitious colleagues, if I remember right, fpeaking of Charles the Firft, faid that he confidered him only as the high conftable of the nation. If, in the prefent paffage, we had in the more measured language of our modern republicans "Neither the gilded bauble that environs the head of the chief magistrate," &c. all would have been uniform and complete.

The counterfeit ornament with which the fabricator of this paper has environed the head of Majefty, is perfectly in unifon with all the reft of thefe factitious manufcripts. It is, however, worthy of remark, that our poet was better acquainted with the diadem, than to call it a gilded bauble; in every place where he mentions a crown (that I can recollect) defcribing it, truly as made of gold. Thus in his King Richard II.

“Now is the golden crorun like a deep well." Again, in King Henry IV. Part 2. "Why does the crown lie there upon his pillow,

Being so troublefome a bed-fellow!
O polish'd perturbation, golden care, &c.
Again, on the fame occafion, after
his fon had taken the crown away, the
king exclaims,

"How quickly nature falls into revolt,
When gold becomes her object!"

* So alfo, in Macbeth :

Hie thee hither,

That I may pour my fpirits in thine ear; And chafife with the valour of my tongue

All that impedes thee from the golden round, Which fate and metaphyfical aid doth feem

To have thee crown' withal."

Again, in the fame play, where the eight kings appear:

"Thy crown does fear mine eye-balls :And thy air, Thou other gold-bound brow, is like the first*.”

If it fhould be faid that in his earlier days he was unacquainted with this circumftance, the answer is, that at that period of his life, instead of fuppofing the diadem to have been a piece of gilded metal, he was much more likely to have fancied it ftill more rich and refplendent than it really is, and to have emblazoned it, in his youthful imagination, with all the precious stones of the east.

I have but one or two obfervations more to make on this love epistle. It has not been proved that our poet wrote any of his admirable plays while he was yet at fchool, or recently after he had left it; though with due diligence fome discovery of this kind may be furnished from the inexhauftible store-house of, curiofities already in part expofed to the public view. However, when he wrote to his dearefste Anna that “the feelinge that dydde neareste approache untoe itte was thatte which commeth nyghefte untoe God, meeke and gentle charytye," it is evident that the fentiment of his own Portia was paffing through his youthful mind :

"The quality of mercy is not ftrain'd;
It droppeth, as the gentle rain from heaven
"Tis mightieft in the mightieft; it becomes
Upon the place beneath :-
The throned monarch better than his crown;
His fceptre fhews the force of temporal power,
The attribute to awe and majesty,
Wherein doth fit the dread and fear of kings;
Bat mercy is above this fcepter'd sway,
It is enthroned in the hearts of kings,
It is an attribute to God himself;
And earthly power doth then thew likeft God's
When mercy feafons jufticet."

At the opening of the feffion in 1614, King James told the parliament that his integrity was like the whitenefs of his robe, and his purity like the metal of gold to his crown. Parl. Hit, vol. 5. p. 273.

It may be worth remarking, that in my edition the writer might have found at the butta

It is obfervable that our author here ing terms: "I cheryfhe thee in my fpeaks with fomewhat more respect of hearte, forre thou arte afs a talle Cedane the fceptre of kings, than the writer of ftretchynge forthe its branches ande fucthe epiftle before us has done of the courynge finaller plants fromme nyp"precious diadem," with which their pynge Winneterre orr the boyfterouse brows are environed; and in one of wyndes." his early historical plays his veneration for majefty is still more apparent. The unhappy Richard the Second afferts,


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Thus alfo, the King in Hamlet:
"Let him go, Gertrude; do not fear our

There's fuch divinity doth hedge about a king,
That treason can but peep to what it would,

Acts little of his will."

With the truth or rectitude of these fentiments we have at prefent nothing to do: they are produced folely to fhew the prevalent opinions of our author's age, and that, I conceive, they do most effectually.

Our youthful lover's laft compliment to his mistress is couched in the follow

bottom of the page, where this encomium on mercy occurs,

"And kings approach the nearest unto God, By giving life and fafety unto men."

As Shakefpeare is known to have been a curious obferver of nature, we might fuppofe that this description was fuggefted by what he had himfelf feen: but as it has been shewn that there were no cedars in England till after the Ref. toration, where could this image have In the Bible, without doubt, we shall been prefented to our Stratford youth? be told. In Holy Writ we find that the Cedar of Lebanon was ❝ exalted in height above all the trees of the field;" that it had "fair branches, and a fhadowing throud: the waters made him great, the deep fet him up on high with her rivers running round about his plants [his own plants] all the fowls of heaven made their nefts in his boughs, and under his shadow dwell all generations."-But where did our author difcover that the wide-fpreading branches of this goodly tree protect the fmaller plants under it from the nipping blafts of winter? In fome natural hif

tory, I fuppofe, that will fhortly be brought forward; but till it appears, it may be fafely afferted that the very reverfe of this is the truth, and that an "umbrageous multitude of leaves," inlead of fuccouring, destroys all vegetation under it.

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ON THE POETRY OF SPAIN AND PORTUGAL. THAT the literature of Spain and glect fhould have prevailed in thofe earPortugal is not attended to at prefent, lier periods, when tranflations were fo when the ftores of German imagination common, so useful, and so honourable. are open to us, is not to be wondered The best Italian poets were naturalized at; but it is ftrange, that the fame ne- in England, during the reigns of Eli


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zabeth and James; at that time, Spain 1 was in the meridian of its glory, and it might have been imagined, that the fame of Lope de Vega would have reached this island. I believe, however, that, except Fanfhaw's verfion of the Lufiad, no poetical tranflation, from either the Spanish or Portuguese appeared in England, till the editor of The Reliques of Ancient Poetry," whofe tafte and genius equal his erudition, excited fome curiofity in the public mind by the beautiful ballad, "Rio verde, Rio verde." Mr Mickle's Lufiad, and Mr Hayley's account of the Araucana foon followed. The former of which has, perhaps, exceeded the original; and the latter occafioned regret in every reader, that the sketch has never been filled up. Here (I believe) our acquaintance with Spanish and Portuguefe poetry has stopped. We have, indeed, often heard of Lope de Vega, and Mr Hayley has mentioned the ULyles of Gabriel Perieira de Castro, and the Malaca Conquistada of Francisco de Sa de Menezes, as poems which the Portuguese themselves eftcem only inferior to the Lufiad of their great Camoens; we have heard their names indeed, but with their merit, the English reader is utterly unacquainted.

It is my intention, to give fome account of the best Spanish and Portuguese poets, to analyze the plans of their moft efteemed works, and tranflate fuch fpecimens as, while they are brief enough to fuit your Magazine, may give fome idea of the genius, tafte, and manner of the authors*.

The profe writers of these countries (except the great Cervantes) are, for obvious reafons, lefs valuable than their poets. Learning has never flourished enough in either of the kingdoms, to form the taste of the inhabitants; and genius and imagination will not atone for the want of talte and erudition in a profe writer. It would be improper to pafs them over in filence; but a brief notice will be fufficient.

*Thefe fhall be given when they appear in the Month. Mag. VOL. LVIII.

Spain and Portugal had reached the meridian of their glory, while the arts were yet in their infancy. Individual genius will be found then to have flourifhed moft when the community shall have been moft flourishing; Athens was then moft glorious when Sophocles and Euripides fucceeded the aged Æfchylus; and Ovid, Horace, and Virgil wrote at the time when Auguftus fent forth his decree, That all the world should be taxed. Uniform experience will atteft the truth of the obfervation; why this fympathy fhould exift, I know not; but poetical genius is certainly a barometer that rifes or falls according to the state of the political atmosphere. Boscan, and Garcilaffo de la Vega, and Diego de Mendoza, fought and conquered for their country, under Charles the Fifth; and their fpirits partook of the elevation they had affifted her to obtain; and they were followed in Portugal by Francifco de Sa de Miranda, Antonio Ferreira, and Pedro de Andrade Caminha.

It may, perhaps, raife a fmile to af fert that the poetry of Spain was purified and corrected, by introducing an Italian tafte into the country. At this period, however, fuch a revolution in literature was effected by fuch means. Marino foon corrupted the tafte of Italy, and Spain foon followed the fafcinating faults. Always fond of the extravagant, and miftaking hyperbolifm for grandeur, quaintnefs for wit, and the obfcure for the fublime, the Spaniards readily fell in with the fashion of the day; and the fatire of Cervantes proved powerless here. The decline of the empire quickly fucceeded, and Lope de Vega lived to witnefs the defeat of that Armada, which, with more extravagance and lefs' genius than he ufually difplayed, he had commanded to go forth and burn the world."

Spain has never recovered herself fince the ruinous reign of Philip the Second. Not content with oppreffing the Spaniards by the Inquifition, he made them the inftrument of oppreffion abroad; there indeed he failed; but though the liberty of Holland, was eftablifhed, the 6 I



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